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Google Invests $600M in Data Center, Michelin Announces $200M Expansion

30 Jan 2013, 5:06 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

The Palmetto State recently secured two major investments with significant impact not only on local economy and job creation, but also on South Carolina’s global image. First off was Google Inc., launching a $600 million investment in Berkeley County. The tech giant kick-started its $600 million expansion plans during a groundbreaking ceremony at its existing data center operation in the Mt. Holly Commerce Park.

The facility houses computer systems and associated components that support services such as Google search, Gmail, Google+ and YouTube. The company is growing its capacity to meet demand for Google’s services. This additional investment doubles the company’s total spending at Mt. Holly to $1.2 billion.

“When Google first announced plans to come to Berkeley County in 2007, we were attracted to not only the energy infrastructure, developable land and available workforce, but also the extraordinary team from the local community that made us feel welcome,” said Data Center Operations Manager Eric Wages in a press release. Following the investment that created 110 on-site, full-time jobs, Google announced in November 2010 that it will be developing a second data center in Berkeley County.

Google’s data centers are notoriously efficient, consuming 50 percent less energy than the overall average. Greening efforts include collecting storm water to be used for cooling servers, a method implemented at the Berkeley County facility. In 2007, the tech company announced its commitment to become carbon neutral.

In addition to sustainable business practices, Google is also involved in supporting the local community, awarding more than $885,000 in grants to local schools and nonprofits since 2008, while also being involved in implementing a free, downtown Wi-Fi network in Goose Creek, S.C. The company operates—or is in the process of developing—six data centers in the U.S, one in Chile, three in Europe and three in Asia.

In other news, tire maker Michelin North America, another prominent investor in South Carolina, has announced plans to invest $200 million and create 100 new jobs at its Starr, Andersen County facility. The expanded One Bib Way could be operational as early as 2014. The Coordinating Council for Economic Development has awarded Michelin job creation credits, as well as a $1.5 million grant for site development .

Michelin is South Carolina’s largest manufacturing employer, with nine of its 18 North American production facilities located in the Palmetto State. Upon the new expansion’s completion, Michelin will employ nearly 9,000 workers in the state.

Photo courtesy of Google Data Centers



Joint Venture Developing $70M Shopping Center; 100-key Boutique Hotel Breaks Ground

22 Jan 2013, 2:54 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

With construction well underway at The Corners at Wescott, New York-headquartered Cohen Real Estate (CRE) has announced the creation of a joint venture between North American Development Group (NADG) and Atlanta-based Hendon Properties to develop the first phase of the grocery-anchored shopping center in North Charleston, S.C.

The long-awaited retail power center broke ground in the third quarter of 2012. CRE, a full-service brokerage firm, brought in NADG to provide new equity for The Corners. “Both the original developer and the new equity partner worked seamlessly throughout the transaction to make sure all of the anchor tenant leases and all city approvals were in place so that construction could start right away to meet the demand for the stores to open as quickly as possible,” Vice President of Cohen Real Estate Michael Cleeman, vice president of Cohen Real Estate, declared in news release. Cleeman represented NADG in the transaction, while President Helen Putterman represented Hendon Properties.

As previously reported, the 22-acre project—located on the corner of Dorchester Road and Wescott Boulevard—will be anchored by Harris Teeter and Marshall’s and shadow-anchored by a recently opened Lowe’s Home Improvement store. The 167,000-square-foot shopping center is 80 percent pre-leased.

According to Councilman Dwight Stigler’s website, probable tenants include Starbucks, Moe’s, Rack Room Shoes, a national pet store chain and a national women’s clothing store. The center is expected to be completed in the summer 2013 and has a price tag of $70 million. Phase two of the project will be developed on 13 acres opposite of Lowe’s.

In other news, Local Hotel Adventures announced the groundbreaking of the Andell Inn—a 100-key boutique hotel near Freshfields Village. The independently owned and operated boutique hotel is scheduled to open in early 2014.

The hotel is a lifestyle concept created by Local Hotel Adventures CEO Don Semmler will feature apartment-like living with each of the room types outfitted with a full kitchen and living space. Amenities will include a fitness center, pool, bar and meeting space. The development will create 123 construction jobs and several permanent positions and will have a $22.8 million economic impact.

Photo courtesy of Local Hotel Adventures via Hotel News Resource



40-acre Redevelopment Project in North Charleston to Include Senior Housing

19 Dec 2012, 5:09 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

40 acres of land in North Charleston are set for a massive redevelopment, as the City of North Charleston and Chicora Gardens LLC are set to enter a $9.2 million purchase agreement for the land, the city has announced. The developer will conduct due diligence and present a master plan before the North Charleston Planning and Zoning Department.

Envisioned as a planned development district with a sustainable interactive environment, the project is expected to revitalize the area around the former Naval Hospital. The recently unveiled initial mock-ups show a mixed-use project abounding in green spaces such as public parks, gardens, living walls and waterfalls around 20 acres.

The development will target the senior population in the area by building a continuing care community featuring senior apartments, assisted living and hospice services. An office building, bank, library, senior recreational facility, pharmacy, restaurants and medical and dental facilities are also envisioned in the ambitious project, set to rise in the 3600 Rivers Avenue area.

Parking will also be constructed and transportation will be expanded. “Transportation is key,” declared Steve Dudash of Davis & Floyd at a press conference announcing the project.

Chicora Gardens has reportedly tapped local firm Davis & Floyd for engineering, structural analysis, landscaping and design for the park and garden element of the project. According to the Charleston Regional Business Journal, the concept is inspired by New York’s Central park.

The 40-acre tract of land comprises the 23-acre former Naval Hospital property and, according to the Charleston Regional Business Journal, the land where the Shipyard Square shopping center once stood. The latter was purchased and subsequently razed by the city for $4.2 million.

The former Naval Hospital site, made up of the 10-story, 360,000-square-foot main hospital building; an additional three-story structure; barracks; parking; and land totaling 23 acres, was purchased by the city in October 2012 for $2 million via an online auction.

Rick Brownyard  of Mount Pleasant, SC is representing Chicora Gardens.

Photo courtesy of the City of North Charleston



Boeing Buys 178,000-Sq.-Ft. Charleston Office Campus

5 Dec 2012, 4:11 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

Aerospace giant Boeing Co. is making its mark on the city of Charleston. According to a story by the Columbia Regional Business Report, the Chicago, Ill.-headquartered company has announced it will be purchasing the SCRA Applied Research Center in the northern part of the city.

Although no purchase price has yet been announced, such will reportedly reflect its market value. That will definitely make it one of the biggest purchases of 2012 in Charleston, as the complex was appraised for $25 million in 2010.

The 178,000-square-foot office complex is located at 5300 International Blvd., adjacent to Charleston International Airport as well as Boeing’s North Charleston 787 Dreamliner fabrication and assembly facility. The aerospace company reportedly has no specific plans for the building at the moment, but considering its steady growth in South Carolina, it will be expanding its current operations.

The SCRA Applied Research Center is a 20-acre, three-building business and research campus. It currently houses offices for various entities such as the Charleston Regional development Alliance, the Lowcountry Graduate Center, SCRA and even Boeing. While SCRA owns the buildings themselves, the 20-acre tract the campus sits on is the property of the Charleston County Aviation Authority.

After Boing finalizes its purchase deal for the building on December 13, SCRA will reportedly stay on as property manager throughout 2014 and will keep its offices until all other tenants have successfully relocated. Boeing will also continue to lease the land from the Charleston County Aviation Authority.

South Carolina-based SCRA is a non-stock, tax-exempt applied research corporation. Formed in 1983, SCRA was started by the South Carolina Legislature under a public charter to help develop technology-based industries in the state, with a founding grant of $500,000 and 1,400 acres of undeveloped land. The corporation has been self-sufficient ever since.

Photo courtesy of SCRA

Chart courtesy of Colliers International



Greystar Student Living Lands Charleston Student Housing Management Deal

30 Nov 2012, 2:55 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associated Editor

Greystar Student Living has announced receiving the management contract of Davis Property Group’s 400 Meeting Street Apartments—a 160-bed luxury student housing development in Charleston, S.C.

Owner of Davis Property Group, Russ Davis declared: “We have worked with Greystar Student Living for many years and are pleased to have them involved with this project. 400 Meeting Street Apartments is an exciting new student living community that combines modern eco-friendly conveniences with Charleston’s unique historic urban lifestyle.”

Indeed, the development’s tagline reads “Classy Meets Urban.” Located on Meeting Street between Mary and Reid streets just east of the historical central business district of Charleston, the property is within walking district of the College of Charleston, the Charleston School of Law and midtown Charleston’s major shopping, dining and employment venues of the oh-so-popular Upper King Street district.

The 1.17-acre development will feature 38 four-bedroom, four-bathroom units and four two-bedroom, two-bathroom units—totaling 160 beds. Units will range in size from 863 to 1,515 square feet and will come fully furnished, including full-sized washer and dryer. Community amenities include an elevated saltwater swimming pool and urban sun deck with grilling area and lounge area, a resident club house, exclusive access fitness center, surface parking and 110 covered bike racks.

The secure-access community will feature an extensive elevator system, courtyards and pet walk. 400 Meeting Street will be an Energy Star community. Another green feature will be its onsite car-sharing program featuring hybrid vehicles.

Dallas-based Greystar Student Living, Greystar’s national student housing platform, manages over 13,000 beds throughout the U.S.

Greenville-based Davis Property Group is a real estate development and investment company specializing in the development of infill and urban multifamily properties in the southeastern Unites States. It has been directly involved in the development and financing of over 45 apartment and condominium projects totaling almost 10,000 units.

Photo credit: Greystar Student Living

 



$38.7M Storage Property Deal Closes in South Carolina

14 Nov 2012, 4:12 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

Strategic Storage Trust Inc. (SSTI) recently announced completing a three-phase acquisition of a 16-property storage portfolio. Totaling over 1.1 million square feet of storage space and around 8,560 self-storage units in various locations across South Carolina, Florida and Georgia, the portfolio has an estimated value of $75 million. H. Michael Schwartz, chairman and CEO of SSTI, said in a press release: “We now own and operate 108 properties in 17 states and Canada and will continue to expand in 2013.”

Of the 16 properties acquired in this phase, six are located in South Carolina’s Mount Pleasant and Charleston markets. Purchased for approximately $38.7 million, the South Carolina properties total 3,740 self-storage units, or around 459,000 square feet.

“Due to this last acquisition of six core properties, we are now one of the larger self-storage owner/operators in the Charleston/Mt. Pleasant markets,” estimated Schwartz.

Three properties were purchased in the Charleston area—the 390-unit, 46,700-square-foot 2343 Savannah Hwy. location; a 430-unit, 46,400-square-foot facility at 1533 Ashley River Rd.; and 1951 Maybank Hwy., consisting of 570 units totaling 66,300 square feet.

The Mt. Pleasant area portfolio also contains three properties—a 390-unit, 41,000-square-foot self-storage facility at 1117 Bowman Rd; one at 1904 Hwy. 17 North containing 590 units totaling 63,600 square feet; and a 195,100-square-foot, 1,370-unit location at 1108 Stockade Ln.

“The Charleston market has very high barriers to entry. We look forward to putting our marketing and management efforts to work to drive income and occupancy well past current levels,” said Wayne Johnson, senior vice president of acquisitions for SSTI.

The deal’s first phase increased SSTI’s portfolio with eight properties totaling 3,770 self-storage units and approximately 508,200 square feet in South Carolina, Florida and Georgia, while the second phase brought 1,050 self-storage units and 142,700 square feet in two Georgia and South Carolina facilities.

Strategic Storage Trust Inc. is the only public non-traded self-storage REIT.  Since its 2008 inception, SSTI has amassed around 70,000 self-storage units and 8.7 million rentable square feet of storage space.

Photo courtesy of Google Maps



LEED Gold for Columbia Hotel

1 Nov 2012, 2:52 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

The Holiday Inn & Suites Columbia-Airport has announced receiving LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The certification was awarded based on energy and material use, lighting and water efficiency, and various other sustainable strategies implemented by the hotel.

“The urgency of USGBC’s mission has challenged the industry to move faster and reach further than ever before, and this Holiday Inn property serves as a prime example with just how much we can accomplish,” said USGBC President, CEO and Founding Chair Rick Fedrizzi in a press release. “Holiday Inn Columbia-Airport’s LEED Gold certification demonstrates tremendous green building leadership.”

Among the features for which the Holiday Inn & Suites Columbia-Airport has been awarded the prestigious certification are tankless hot water heaters connected to solar panels, Kone Eco-Space traction elevators, high-efficiency fixtures that reduce water usage, Amana Digismart Energy Management Systems in all guest rooms and a green housekeeping program. Furthermore, rainwater is collected in an underground cistern and used for irrigation.

Yet eco-friendly features are not exclusive to the hotel’s functioning; they were also implemented in the hotel’s construction, with 88.6 percent of waste being diverted to landfills. Additionally, the interior of the hotel was designed with all recycled materials. The hotel’s carpets, paints and adhesives are all low-emitting volatile organic compounds that reduce indoor air contamination.

“This is the crowning moment in what has been an amazing journey,” declared Hema Patel, owner of Courtesy Management Inc. “Our vision started with a hotel in the Columbia, S.C. market and it grew to the vision of constructing South Carolina’s first eco-friendly green hotel.”

Located at 110 Mcswain Dr. in West Columbia off I-26, the Holiday Inn & Suites opened on Earth Day—April 22, 2010. It features a saltwater filtered outdoor pool, 24-hour onsite fitness center, 24-hour lounge, 24-hour staffed business center with high-speed wireless internet access and 5,000 square feet of meeting space, with the grand ballroom seating up to 336. Rooms feature work desks and 32-inch flat panel TV’s with high-end video equipment and sound systems.

Photo courtesy of GoogleMaps



Winding Woods Commerce Park Breaks Ground

17 Oct 2012, 4:10 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

Dorchester County officials recently broke ground on the 610-acre Winding Woods Commerce Park, a project that’s been in the works for over five years. Located at the corner of U.S. Highway 78 and Winding Woods Road in St. George, the project has been a long time in the making.

According to a Dorchester County Economic Development press release, plans for the project were first initiated in 2007 in an effort to support job creation in the area. Two years later, Winding Woods Commerce Park was announced as the Tri-County area’s first certified industrial site with easy access to interstate infrastructure and port facilities. Given its expansive size, Winding Woods mainly targets industries and future investors in search of large sites. Subdivided lots can span 20 to 50 acres in size.

“This celebration marks a big step forward for Dorchester County,” said Larry Hargett Dorchester, County Council chairman. “Winding Woods Commerce Park is a culmination of hard work and strategic planning that will bring future jobs to the St. George area.  The best way to grow our economy and support job creation is to invest in the things businesses need to be successful, and having a strong infrastructure is one of them.”

The cost for work underway at the site is around $3.6 million and covers the installation of sewer and water lines stretching 2.6 miles along Highway 78, making the industrial park shovel ready for potential investors.

Funding for the development has been secured from several sources, including $1 million from the Upper Dorchester County Economic Development Fund. Santee Cooper, South Carolina’s state-owned electric and water utility company and South Carolina’s largest power producer, has also provided funding for the project. Santee Cooper’s support for the county infrastructure project is a $2.1 million loan, as well as water and sewer impact fees.

Tideland Utilities is in charge of construction at Winding Woods. The project has an estimated completion date of March 2013.

Photo courtesy of Dorchester County

Chart courtesy of Colliers International



Meridian Building Sold for $60M

3 Oct 2012, 8:55 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

Another major office transaction has rippled across the Columbia market. Hot on the heels of Bank of America Plaza’s sale comes the trading of another major office building in the city’s downtown area. According to the Columbia Regional Business Report, Massachusetts-based CommonWealth REIT has purchased the 333,000-square-foot Meridian Building for $60 million.

The 17-story Class A office building is located at 1320 Main St. in the heart of Columbia’s Central Business District; it is one of eleven Class A office properties in the CBD. The Meridian Building has 17 tenants, occupying 92 percent of the building’s total leasable surface. Currently active leases have an average term of 8.8 years.

The property, completed in 2004 by Atlanta-based Holder Properties, was the first office high-rise to be built in the downtown market in 15 years. It had an estimated cost of $62 million and was designed by architectural firm Stevens & Wilkinson Inc. of South Carolina.

The Meridian is Energy Star-certified and features two pocket parks and a rooftop garden. A fitness center, a restaurant and banking facilities are also to be found onsite. Additionally, the building features 1,008 parking spaces in an attached eight-level parking garage.

CommonWealth entered into an agreement to purchase the Meridian Building in May and expected to close in the third quarter of 2012. The office and industrial real estate investment trust owns an additional four buildings in Columbia’s Synergy Business Park. Globally, CommonWealth owns properties in 31 states, Washington, D.C. and Australia worth an estimated total of $7.2 billion.

Photo credit: Google Maps

Chart courtesy of Colliers International 



100-key Hampton Inn Opens in Columbia

26 Sep 2012, 2:54 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

Hampton Hotels recently announced the opening of the 100-key Hampton Inn & Suites Columbia/Southeast Fort Jackson. Located at 201 East Exchange Blvd. just off I-77, the hotel is only five minutes away from Fort Jackson and downtown Columbia.

Hampton Inn & Suites Columbia/Southeast Fort Jackson features amenities such as a fully equipped fitness center and indoor pool, an outdoor patio, BBQ grilling area, versatile 1008-square-foot meeting space and fully equipped business center with seating for 125.The hotel lobby lounge offers refreshments 24 hours a day.

The Hampton hotel offers guests an onsite complimentary breakfast or On the Run breakfast bags for those with busy schedules. Wireless internet access is available in public areas and rooms.

Other hotel services include laundry services, valet services, safety deposit boxes, photocopying, fax and printing services, baggage storage, luggage hold and self-parking. High chairs and cribs are also available upon request. Additionally, Hamtpon hotels are infused with local photography and art work, highlighting each property’s connection to and support of its community.

Guest rooms are outfitted with a coffee maker, iron and ironing board, complimentary in-room movie channels, high-speed internet access and complimentary local calls. The one-room studio suites feature king or queen beds, a sleeper sofa, an under-the-counter refrigerator and microwave oven. Spacious work areas and high-speed internet access are also featured.

According to a press release, Hampton Inn & Suites Columbia/Southeast Fort Jackson is operated by CN Hotels and owned by Columbia Hotel. It is the seventh Hampton property in Columbia. Three additional Hampton hotels are expected to open in South Carolina within the next three years.

The Hampton brand, including Hampton Inn, Hampton Inn & Suites and Hampton by Hilton, is an award-winning leader in the mid-priced hotel segment. With nearly 1,900 properties globally, Hampton Hotels is part of Hilton Worldwide, a leading global hospitality company.

Photo credit: Hampton Inn & Suites-Columbia’s Google Plus page



Palmetto Health to Further Expand at Parkridge Site

12 Sep 2012, 3:42 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

The Columbia City Planning Commission has approved Palmetto Health’s newest expansion plans. According to the Columbia Regional Business Report, the Planning Commission has given its approval for the health care provider’s plans to build an 80,000-square-foot medical building near Irmo, S.C. at the Parkridge site, where the Palmetto Health Baptist Parkridge Hospital is currently under construction.

Palmetto Health’s newest project is an Ambulatory Services Building, a structure that will mainly house physician’s practices. The four-story building will take up 10 acres at the Parkridge site—a 75-acre medical campus. Groundbreaking is set to take place in about two months, with work slated to wrap before the new hospital opens in December 2013.

The Parkridge hospital currently under construction is Palmetto Health’s first full-service medical facility to be built since the 1988 merger between the Richland and Baptist hospitals that created Palmetto Health. The 224,590-square-foot hospital rising at I-26 and Lake Murray Boulevard will offer state-of-the-art inpatient and emergency care.

According to Palmetto Health’s website, the 76-bed, four-story hospital will provide services such as: non-invasive cardiology, endocrinology, ear, nose and throat, gastroenterology, general medicine, general surgery, intensive care, OBGYN, orthopedics, plastic surgery, pulmonary medicine, urology and outpatient rehabilitation. It will also have an 24-hour emergency department, a labor and delivery unit, newborn nursery, four operating rooms and imaging, laboratory and pharmacy services.

The $99 million hospital will create 400 full-time jobs after completion, as well as a high number of construction and construction-related jobs during development. The developers expect the project to significantly impact the area’s economy, as spin-off businesses such as medical equipment suppliers, physician offices, restaurants and hotels, are expected to cluster around the campus.

According to Palmetto Health’s website, the Parkridge medical campus will be pedestrian-friendly and will offer ample living and green space. The restricted number of curb cuts will improve traffic flow. In 2011, developers had already invested over $2 million in road improvements around the campus.

The hospital and the ambulatory services building will be connected by an elevated walkway.  The building’s cost has yet to be released.

Photo credit: Palmetto Health Baptist Parkridge



$142M Arts Center Breaks Ground

29 Aug 2012, 4:12 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

With municipal projects meant to lure tourists on the rise across the country, Charleston has joined the race. The Charlotte Observer recently reported on the groundbreaking of the city’s ambitious $142 million performing arts center renovation and expansion project.

Located at 77 Calhoun St., the Gaillard Municipal Auditorium, a 44-year multipurpose facility, has long been an important part of Charleston, a city with a vibrant arts infrastructure. Until recently, it featured a theater complete with a full stage and orchestra pit and seating for 2,726 people, according to the city’s official website. It also included a 15,000-square-foot exhibition hall capable of holding 800 seated, as well as 50-100 person meeting rooms.

However, Gaillard has for some time been considered outdated both architecturally—compared to the surrounding neighborhood—as well as economically. After two years of planning, lining up funding and getting approval, work has finally started at the site with necessary demolition work.

The formerly 2,726-seat performance hall will be downsized to 1,800—making it more economically sound. The new design will improve acoustics as well as energy efficiency and will cost $96 million.

The outdated, underused and inflexible exhibition hall will be replaced by a larger one, better suited for current markets at a price of $23 million. According to the development’s website, the exhibition hall will be flexible, energy-efficient and larger. It is to have improved food, loading and unloading facilities, as well as upgraded restrooms.

A novelty at the site will be the city offices, as the municipal offices currently dispersed in leased spaces across Charleston will consolidate—saving money and time and improving service efficiency. Developing will have a price tag of $23 million.

$71 million in private contributions will be matched by $71 million in city contributions to cover the project’s costs.  Of public funds, $30 million will be covered by tax increment financing, $23 million by general obligation bonds and $18 million will come from hospitality and new market tax credits.

Design is signed by David M Schwarz Architects. Construction, expected to generate 1000 construction-related jobs, is expected to wrap up by December 2014. The new center will generate 400 permanent jobs and have an annual economic impact of $62 million.

Photo credit: City of Charleston’s Facebook page 



Student Housing Booms in Columbia—$80M Project Approved

20 Aug 2012, 2:06 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

It was just a few weeks ago that local developer Ben Arnold, in a joint venture with Monarch Ventures of Charlotte, N.C., filed papers with the Columbia Planning Commission for the Monarch at USC—a 600-bed student housing project, which the partners want to develop at the corner of Blossom and Huger Street. While the Monarch at USC has yet to receive a decision from the city board, another developer, the first in a string of many, has received the zoning board’s approval for its proposed downtown project.

According to a report by The State, the $80 million project proposed by Core Campus LLC of Chicago has cleared Columbia’s zoning board and might break ground as early as spring 2013. The project envisions converting the former SCANA building in Columbia’s central business district into an 851-bed student housing complex, thus converting the 21-story Palmetto Center into The Hub on Main Street at Palmetto Center.  The former office high rise will be redeveloped into a 258-unit private dorm, with one- to five-bedroom apartments.

Indoor amenities, most of which will be found on the 11th floor, include a study lounge, conference and club rooms, as well as a fitness center with yoga and steam rooms. Retail space will be developed at street level, while the building’s basement will be converted into an 88-car parking garage with 215 bicycle spaces. However, 88 parking spaces are not sufficient for a development of this scale, so developers will be leasing 338 spaces in an adjacent city parking garage.

Furthermore, Core Campus plans to enter negotiations to develop outdoor amenities such as a sandy volleyball court, grills, a pool and a hot tub on the top level of the parking garage. A green screen will protect the privacy of visitors and other downtown businesses and residents.

Because opponents of the project voiced concerns regarding the safety of students in a mostly commercial area, especially at night, increased safety measures have already been negotiated and will be implemented both at the dormitory tower and the city parking garage. Such safety features include enhanced garage lighting and garage security cameras to be monitored by both police and The Johnson Group, The Hub’s hired private security company.

The SCANA building sat vacant since the company’s move-in in 2009. Work is expected to take between 10 to 12 months, with a deadline of fall 2014.

Image courtesy of Google Maps



600-bed Student Housing for Columbia

25 Jul 2012, 6:15 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

Pending a decision by the Columbia City Planning Commission, the city could see a new student housing project rising in town. Dubbed Monarch at USC, the 600-bed student housing project is a joint venture between local developer Ben Arnold, president of Arnold Companies, and Charlotte, N.C.-based Monarch Ventures, reports the Columbia Regional Business Report.

The location of the future development is a property owned by the Arnolds at the corner of Blossom and Huger Street and is already zoned for this type of development.

Monarch at USC is envisioned as a 600-bed development with one-, two- and four-bedroom apartments; units will average 1,180 square feet.  Amenities will include a fitness center, sports lounge, tanning beds, a rooftop pool and a rooftop outdoor courtyard. The apartment building will go around the property, while at the center a 610-space parking garage is to be constructed.  Apartment structures will range between four stories—at the corner of Huger and Blossom—and seven stories near Pulaski Street.

Construction is set to begin in the fall, with completion due before the start of the 2013 fall school term. Charlotte architecture firm Studio Four PLLC has been hired for the project and has presented drawings showing steel-framed structures with brick and hard plank trim façades. Construction cost estimates have yet to be released.

Monarch Ventures recently completed a $22 million, 440-bed student housing project near Coastal Carolina University and has four more student housing projects pending, including Georgia Southern University and UNC–Charlotte, reports the Charlotte Business Journal.

Photo courtesy of Monarch 544’s Facebook Page